ROXBURY, NJ - The Roxbury school district is re-opening its doors to "hybrid" in-classroom instruction on Jan. 19, with Roxbury Schools Superintendent begging parents to keep home any students showing symptoms of COVID-19.

The superintendent said the decision to return to at least some level of in-person instruction was made "after reviewing the district data" on the health of Roxbury students and staff. It was also based on conversations with local health officials, the district's nurses and other members of the district administration.

After being closed in the spring due to the onslaught of the coronavirus, Roxbury schools had eased into re-opening. In November, they entered "Phase 2" of Radulic's re-opening plan, but it was a short-lived advance to normalcy as classrooms were again closed on Dec. 14.

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Today's announcement by the superintendent detailed different re-opening plans for elementary and high school students.

"Grades preK through 8 will continue with Phase II and the high school will return to Phase I with the continuation of streaming students into classrooms," said Radulic. "Schedule details for virtual Mondays and hybrid Tuesdays through Fridays will be provided in a letter from your building principals. Virtual Mondays will continue throughout February."

She said parents who want to change their children's "model for learning" (going from virtual to hybrid or vice-versa) must complete a form by 3 p.m. Friday, Jan. 15.

Changes for students in grades five through 12 will become effective Jan. 19 and will remain until Feb. 15 "at which time parents will have the opportunity to re-evaluate the situation," said Radulic. "Switching learning models for grades kindergarten through fourth grade will take a few days to process since it may involve changing teachers and/or schools and will remain in effect until March 18, the beginning of the third trimester," she added.

The district transportation department is sorting out bus routes, but Radulic said parents who switch their children from at-home, remote instruction to in-classroom instruction should "be prepared" to drive them to school next week.

The fate of the district's plan to return, in part, to classroom instruction rests substantially on avoiding the spread of COVID-19 in the schools, warned the superintendent, stressing the importance of "keeping symptomatic students home until their symptoms subside." She said quarantining of students will take place "on a case-by-case basis," but Radulic added that "close contacts will be quarantined for symptomatic students which may or may not result in the transition of full classrooms from hybrid to fully virtual."

Radulic's full statement can be found herepdf.

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